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As First Lady Visits Boston Medical Center, Some Protest Outside The Hospital02:03
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Protesters held signs outside Boston Medical Center during first lady Melania Trump's visit on Wednesday. (Shannon Dooling/WBUR)
Protesters held signs outside Boston Medical Center during first lady Melania Trump's visit on Wednesday. (Shannon Dooling/WBUR)

More than 100 people — mostly Boston Medical Center employees — gathered outside the hospital to express their support for patients and criticize a visit from first lady Melania Trump on Wednesday.

Many of the demonstrators told WBUR that a visit from the Trump administration runs counter to the hospital's mission. The hospital serves a large population of nonwhite and immigrant patients.

Several BMC workers who participated said they want all patients — especially those from marginalized communities who may have been affected by federal policies — to feel safe at BMC. Many worried that the first lady's visit may send the wrong message to some people seeking treatment.

Eduardo Garza, a resident at BMC, said he understands it is not easy to refuse a visit from the first lady.

"We are not protesting her being here," he said. "We're more trying to give a message to our patients, to say, 'Hey, we see you. ... We understand the issues you're going through, and we stand with you.' "

First lady Melania Trump, left, speaks with pediatrician Eileen Costello, front right, as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, behind center, looks on during a visit to Boston Medical Center in Boston on Nov. 6. (Steven Senne/AP, Pool)
First lady Melania Trump, left, speaks with pediatrician Eileen Costello, front right, as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, behind center, looks on during a visit to Boston Medical Center in Boston on Nov. 6. (Steven Senne/AP, Pool)

The first lady came to BMC — the city's largest safety net health care provider — as part of her "BE BEST" initiative aimed at promoting children's well-being.

This segment aired on November 6, 2019.

Shannon Dooling Twitter Reporter
Shannon Dooling is a reporter representing WBUR on a team of public radio station journalists in the New England News Collaborative.

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Angus Chen Twitter Reporter, CommonHealth
Angus Chen is a reporter for WBUR's CommonHealth.

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